Cruisers dropping "serious dollars" this week

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Thousands of Cruisin' the Coast participants are doing more than showing off their shiny rides this week. They're also spending some serious money. The overall economic impact of the week long car show is between $10 and $20 million.

It should come as no great surprise that cruisers will spend much of their money at area gas pumps.

"I put $92 in high test gasoline in these two dinosaurs," said Skip Morgan from Baltimore, as he filled up his classic Ford and Mercury.

Morgan said he'll spend plenty this weekend.

"Gas, the restaurants. And we try to buy a car or two if we can find one," he said.

"Oh, it's been very, very good.  The whole week has been good," hotel manager San Naqvi said.

South Mississippi hotels get a welcome boost from Cruisin'.

"It's a very good business. But the wonderful thing is the people are very, very nice. The people who bring these cars here. I think it's a very good thing for Biloxi, in fact," the Super 8 general manager said.

"It starts as a trickle. Then they just all flock in, for a good time and some hot wings," restaurant manager Erin Jacob said.

Hula hoops may be fitting for the classic car crowd.  But it's the restaurant's beach front location that drives crowds to Hooters in Biloxi.

"Oh, it's been awesome. It's been awesome. My girls and I are very much enjoying it, aren't we?" said Jacob, getting a cheer from her wait staff.

Toni Granat enjoys cruising in her '55 Belair.  Along with enjoying the classic rides, she's set aside shopping time.

"We're gonna do the mall, we ladies," Granat said. "The guys are doing the swap shows and they're going cruising of course. I might even visit a casino. I have been known to game a bit."

James Tassin and his friends from Louisiana are enjoying the Mississippi hospitality.  He said the big expense will be feeding the engine.

"Lots of gas," Tassin said. "I just checked my mileage. I'm getting about eight miles to the gallon. So, I fill up on a regular basis."

This week they're filling up the hotel rooms and the gas tanks on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Click here to see the official Cruisin the Coast schedule of events.

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